Travel with kids in Jerusalem

A great new site Seven Suitcases features my musings on what to do with kids when travelling in Jerusalem. There are already a few posts on the site — yes, it hasn’t officially launched yet — from other spots around the world. I think it’s a fabulous site, run by someone who can best be described as a free […]

Intifada Bethlehem 2: Dehaisha’s hero

At one of the Bethlehem locations from my first novel The Collaborator of Bethlehem (UK title The Bethlehem Murders) with a group of Norwegian visitors who posted some brief videos. This one is in Dehaisha Refugee Camp and we’re talking about Marwan Barghouti, a Palestinian leader.  

Intifada Bethlehem 1: Beit Jala violence

At one of the Bethlehem locations from my first novel The Collaborator of Bethlehem (UK title The Bethlehem Murders) with a group of Norwegian visitors who posted some brief videos. This one is in Beit Jala, looking across the deep wadi at Jerusalem and talking about the gunbattles that used to take place there.

My Mozart novel and the intifada

If there had never been a Palestinian intifada, I might never have written my novel about the death of Mozart, MOZART’S LAST ARIA, which is published today in the UK by Corvus. Of course, 4,000 people would also be alive who are now dead. In the course of writing about that destruction between 2000 and […]

Extreme weather boosts creativity

Samuel Johnson wrote that “When two Englishmen meet, their first talk is of the weather.” The good doctor wrote that in 1758, long before the conversation of Englishmen was informed by the hyperbolic outrage of London’s present tabloids. Just lately it seems he might amend his phrasing to “their only talk.” The British are in […]

Going historical

Writing of the disdain expressed for genre novels by critics, Raymond Chandler said that there were just as many bad “literary novels” of the type favored by critics as there were bad genre stories – except that the bad literary novels didn’t get published. In other words, there’s nothing inherent in so-called genre fiction that […]

Good times, danger signs in West Bank

BETHLEHEM, West Bank — The good news is that the West Bank is normal — kind of — and that people are content — sort of. The bad news, the Palestine Liberation Organization thinks it’s responsible for the good news. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, who’s also the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) chief, has decided to […]